Saturday, June 13, 2009

The amazing trio that made it

On 11 June, a sunny and fair day, we decided to embark on the journey to the Great Wall, but not before my family made their own way to the supermarket at the basement of our apartment town hall - 京客隆 - and kids and adults alike gamely posed for pictures. All I can say is that since I am a resident who would otherwise frequent the supermarket and thus need to maintain a reputation, I am glad I did not go with them to take photos with durians, beans, fruits, and frozen meats... -_-
We then had lunch at a restaurant within our apartment area, 福临府, before heading back home to pick Rosabelle up.
We started on our 1.5 hour journey to Mutianyu, less crowded than the other part Badaling. On the way there, the kids played self-invented games like 'Zap' (where we would zap people 'who are wearing skirts', 'whose birthdate has a 9 in it', and any other random selection), as well as 'Magic Stone', where each person would will the others to turn into anything (e.g. butterfly, train, Uncle Wayne etc).
However, when the children got naughty, I bluffed them to look at the roadside and see the fruit sellers, and told them, 'See those uncles selling fruits? They were naughty when small and their parents chased them out of the car, so they have to grow up on the roadside and sell fruits. Do you want to go sell watermelons or durians? You choose.' And they grew silent and afraid, so much so that when Rosabelle fell asleep and Simon spoke loudly in reply to my sis, he chided her, 'Who asked you to talk to me?! You want Yiyi to throw me out, is it?!!'. He was seriously worried. My mum later picked up on this threat and told Marianne off, 'You can go cut the watermelon and Kor kor can sell and collect money.' It was hilarious, yet cruel at the same time, BUWAHAHA!

We reached the Tourist Centre close to 3:30pm, and took a short break first. As it was hot, Rosabelle got started on removing her own hat and socks, a new 'skill' I would need to deal with in ensuring she does not lose anymore socks, or her hat. Wayne could not join us on the way up as he was scheduled to get on a concall that afternoon (which got cancelled in the end), and wriggled his way out of a most back-breaking task. Even though we purchased a two-way cable ticket ride up the wall, it was no joke 'hiking' uphill on pebbly cobblestones with an almost 9kg Rosabelle to get to the cable station! I was seriously panting and we had not even gotten to the Wall yet!
The cable car ride (very stuffy inside the cabin even though the windows were halfway down) took only 4 minutes, not long enough for me to recharge my energy. But when we reached the daunting-looking Wall, my parents and I decided to stay at the base and sit on the benches whilst the courageous trio of my sis, Simon, and Marianne embarked on their climb up the Wall.
Whilst waiting, my mum and I ventured up the first flight of steps and walked only 20 metres before deciding that it would be way too tedious, and also dangerous, to go further on the cobbly and steep climb. My arms and legs were sure aching from carrying Rosabelle to climb the high steps! So we just hung around and waited about 30 minutes (and went to the makeshift toilet, where they only opened one that had no water and was stinky - there were insects milling around and I was so afraid they would fly into my erm... 'less than public' area!!)My sis returned with the kids and beautiful photos of their 'conquest', where they walked on to the next tower.
Marianne was in a posey mood with very cute, farmer's wife-looking photos.

Whilst Simon as usual looks best when he's not posing, and taken in his natural state.
The two kids had some really great shots together.
I'm really proud of them for walking so much - this is coming from children who usually want to be carried at the end of a long day from being too tired.And also for looking out for each other so that my sis could cope with the both of them. This is the view that we missed out on.
My sis said there were hardly any persons on the Wall, and I asked what if somebody ran off with one of the kids, would she run after the person and abandon the one left behind, or take care of the one still with her? What a tough decision - she will likely pick up the remaining kid and run after the person and the other kid - such is mother's love that it's not a case of which kid she would choose, but more of how she would fiercely protect both of them with her life.
My sis, the bravest and strongest of them all...
My dad helped the kids as they were coming down.
We then took the last cable car down, and thank goodness going down the steep slopes of many kitschy souvenir stalls was less difficult (still not as easy though carrying Rosabelle).
And we also posed for photos with a dirty-looking donkey...
Well, at least Rosabelle can say she 'climbed' the Great Wall at the ripe old age of 7.5 months old!
On the way back, I fed Rosabelle some white bread, and she enjoyed eating pieces of it, grabbing my fingers as soon as she chewed and swallowed a piece. She was not hungry when we got back, so she had a bath first before eating her dinner (nanny said her pear porridge and fish/tofu were not enough for her - must have worked up a good appetite from the day out!). However, we did not bring her out for dinner as she already had a long day (nanny said she looked for us after her bath and only stopped looking when the nanny explained that we'd gone out for dinner with my family).

We brought my family to
Da Dong Beijing Duck Restaurant as they enjoyed the food on their previous trip here as well, but it is now seriously over-priced, milling with too many angmor tourists (some rude ones we encountered at the waiting area as the man refused to give up his seat to Simon and would rather stand next to the seat to stake claim to it - sheesh!). Ended up this was the most expensive meal we had together, coming close to SGD200 in total, but still cheaper than Singapore's, of course.
Well, at least we had a good treat to reward ourselves for a long day at the Great Wall!

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